We’re grateful for Imade!
One of our longest serving volunteers, Imade has been involved with OCA for over half a year now. Every Wednesday, he comes to help prepare and deliver food for the African Heritage Community and others. A humble, generous man, Imade will be running for Blackbird Leys County Councillor in May 2021. We’ll be rooting and voting for you, Imade. Appreciate you!
‘I got involved with OCA in June when there was a call within the African Heritage Community for members to go out and do more for our community in this time of need. In life, we are naturally drawn toward things that connect to our passion and purpose. Looking after one another in difficult times is a life purpose of mine.
It’s a well-known fact, most people will remain very silent even when they are struggling and poverty is a particularly isolating experience. So for me “responsibility is a grace that we give ourselves.” It was a privilege for me to get involved in the distribution of food to community members.
There are mainstream services out there that can provide for people in need. But I know that for many people from communities such as ours it is not always easy to access those services for fear of being judged and because of the bureaucracy involved in accessing them. At OCA, a friendly, familiar face takes bags of food and provisions out and the volunteers have positive, informal relationships with those they distribute to.
It is our responsibility at OCA to make sure nobody goes to bed with an empty stomach. Trust me, I have been there and it’s not a joyful place to be.
Nothing exalts the soul or gives it such a sheer sense of buoyancy and connectedness as being able to help change the lives of other people in a positive way. This is what motivates me to do what I do and I believe it’s the motivation behind all members of OCA.
Wednesday is always a special day of the week for me. It offers me the privilege to not only work with the wonderful volunteers at OCA but also to have some quick conversations with families when the food parcel is delivered to them. In these tough times, some older members of the community especially appreciate a friendly chat.